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Medical Care in the USA

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

In case there are people who still don’t understand how screwed up the USA is, in regards to medical care, I present to you Steven K. Brust.  Mr. Brust is a successful science fiction author.  He’s published around 20 novels, been on the NYTimes bestseller list, and is considered a decent fellow.  He’s also in danger of losing his house because he got sick this year.   Commenters on his blog who are not from the United States are aghast that someone could have to declare bankruptcy due to illness.  No other developed nation allows citizens to go broke getting sick.  It seems deeply immoral and inhumane to me.

Fortunately for Brust, he has a dedicated following of fans (personally, I’ve only read Cowboy Feng - it was amusing) who are helping him out financially.  How many less well-known people are declaring bankruptcy today because of a hospital bill from last year?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 14th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
I know...I think the US is really fucked up and doesn't have a clue when it comes to taking care of people and medical care. Have you seen Sicko yet? (I haven't yet...bf is from Michigan and *hates* Michael Moore, so it hasn't been a rented "date night" movie yet.)

The first time I ever truly understood how fucked up my expectations were regarding medical care was when I was with my ex in Australia. He was looking at immigrating, and we were checking with various agencies to see what would need to be done and what the expenses would be. At one of the agencies we visited, the guy told us he would have to have a certain amount of money (I think 10,000 AU), a financial sponsor, and he would have to "pay a one time fee for a medical card." The cost of the medical card: $910 US. Just out of curiosity, we asked if he would be able to not pay the fee for the medical card, and just not have medical care (he never ever had health insurance for the whole 12 years he lived in the US). The man we were speaking with almost fell out of his chair after his jaw nearly hit the ground. He was like, "Well, what would happen if you became ill??????" Uh, yah...welcome to America, land of opportunity.
Nov. 14th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
Moore has some serious issues with credibility, and I hate his smarmy face. But, Sicko was a great deal better than his previous work, perhaps because his face wasn't in it all the darned time.

Australia, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, yada yada yada - none of their citizens can CONCEIVE of a situation where their health would cause them to become homeless.
Nov. 14th, 2007 05:32 pm (UTC)
According to his posts the guy already is in debt to the IRS for 150k, although I dont see post saying how he got into the feds for that much. Im tempted to ask why if he's such a prolific and well-respected author he couldnt afford to have health insurance but Im guessing from his IRS situation that he's either irresponsible when it comes to keeping track of his money or doesnt plan ahead.
Nov. 14th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC)
So maybe the hospital bill just pushed him over the top. I hadn't seen the IRS stuff - I don't follow his postings very well, obviously.

Still, my essential point remains that no other country with a standard of living like ours has citizens in abject fear of becoming ill. It's quite sad.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )